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The wines of  Giuseppe Mascarello, Piedmont, Italy

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio di Mauro Mascarello & Co Azienda Agricola, Stada del Grosso, 1-12060 Castiglione Faletto (Cuneo), Italy
Tel: 0173 792126 Fax: 0173 792124

Mascarello is one of the leading names in Barolo. It’s a small-ish family firm run by Mauro Mascarello, who has a reputation for making complex wine in a more traditional style: you won’t find any barriques here. Rather than try to make deep-coloured, oaky wines in a sort of international style, Mauro allows Nebbiolo to do what only Nebbiolo can, producing pale coloured yet intensely structured wines with a complex sweet and sour character that is quite beguiling.

Here I got to try a large selection of Mascarello wines, including very nice examples of Dolcetto and Barbera. The Barolo Monprivato is verging on the profound, and judging by the performance of the 1982 and 1988 these are wines you want to buy, stick in your cellar and forget about for a couple of decades.   

Fresia ‘Toetto’ 2001 Castiglione Falletto
0.68 hectares of vines purchased in 1987, planted in 1989. Clay/chalk. Lovely open fruit here: it’s savoury, but with a ripe liquoricey edge to the berry fruit with savoury, fine-grained spicy tannins. Fine, spicy finish. Very good+ 89/100 (£9.15)

Dolcetto Bricco 2001 Castiglione Falletto
0.63 hectares purchased in 1987, clay/limestone. Vivid purple colour. Open nose of bright fruits with a savoury, spicy, minerally edge. The palate shows lovely vivid spicy fruit with firm tannins and a lovely savoury character. Minerally, delicious and savoury. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£8.90) 

Barbera Scudetto 2001 Monforte d’Alba
1.88 hectares, purchased 1991, planted 1998. Clay/sand. Quite an intense savoury nose with bold, minerally cherry fruit. The palate is earthy and tannic with a caramel-like edge and high acidity. Interesting stuff in a traditional style. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£12.25)

Nebbiolo Langhe 2001
Declassified Barolo. Slightly lighter colour. Earthy, spicy nose is savoury and a little old fashioned. The palate is open and expressive with lovely ripe, rounded earthy minerally fruit with fine-grained, firm tannins. Drinking brilliantly now. Really earthy; not fruit driven. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£11.25)

Barolo Villero 1998 Castiglione Falletto
Purchased 1985, planted 1988. Limestone, clay, sand. Intense yet refined nose with some sweet spices and earthiness, with slightly cherryish fruit. The palate has a lovely roundness with spice, herbs, hints of tar and some earthiness. Quite intense. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£27.50)

Barolo Monptivato 1999
First parcel of the Monprivato vineyard was purchased in 1904 by Mascarello; they now own 95% of it, with holdings of 6.13 hectares. Limestone/clay soil with Southwest exposure. The nose shows some lovely open sweet, earthy fruit: savoury, intense and perfumed. The palate is concentrated with spicy earthiness to the fruit. Very bold and rich: a powerful yet expressive style. Quite minerally and full. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£33.60)

Barolo Monprivato Ca d’Morissio Riserva 1995
This special release has been made in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001. Complex, spicy earthy evolved nose with great savoury intensity. There’s a lovely perfumed earthy character. The palate is tannic and dense with lots of structure. Bold and mouthfilling, this is a massive wine that needs time. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£82)

Barolo Monprivato 1988
Lovely expressive complex nose is earthy and intense with a nice spiciness. The palate is open, broad with lovely spicy fruit and more of this distinctive earthiness. Very open with good acidity. Drinking very well now. Very good/excellent 93/100

Barolo Monprivato 1982
Tarry, spicy, open earthy nose is very fine and complex, showing good evolution. The palate is open and spicy with firm, drying, mouthcoating tannins. A bold, rich style that’s full and expressive. Drinking brilliantly now. Very good/excellent 94/100  

availability in the UK:

Winetraders/Michael Palij MW
3 TBAC Business Centre, Avenue Four, Station Lane, Witney, Oxon, OX28 4BN
Tel: 00 44 (0) 1993 848 777 Fax: 00 44 (0) 1993 848 778

For an older review of these wines click here

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